MATH 001: Introductory Algebra
Fall Semester 2006
Section 001: MRC 316, MW 9:00 – 9:50 am, TR 11:00 – 11:50 am, Final: Monday, 12/11, 12:50 -2:50 pm
Section 002: MRC 318, MW 1:10 – 2:00 pm, TR 1:00 – 1:50 pm, Final: Friday, 12/15, 12:50 – 2:50 pm
Instructor: Elizabeth Gaedy
Contact Information: Office: MRC 332, Phone: 796-3192, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Description: Real number system, order of operations; Algebraic problem solving, solving linear equations; Cartesian coordinate system, graphs of equations; Exponents and radicals; Factoring polynomials, solving equations by factoring.
Four Credits. (Credits not applicable toward graduation.)
Note: This course serves as a pre-requisite for MATH 110 (College Algebra), MATH 130 (Introductory Statistics), or MATH 155 (Mathematics, A Way of Thinking). You must earn at least a “C” grade to qualify for the next course in your sequence.
ALEKS Student Access Code: Purchased from the Viterbo Bookstore.
You will also need the appropriate Course Code for your specific section, which is provided later in this document.
Text: Introductory Algebra: A Real-World Approach. 2nd Edition. By Ignacio Bello. (McGraw-Hill, 2006)
This textbook is published by McGraw-Hill, who also handles ALEKS for institutions of higher education. Our text has been precisely integrated with ALEKS, so that you can use your book for explanations, worked examples and practice problems as we move our way through the course material.
Course Goals and Student Outcomes:
1. Students will demonstrate their readiness for learning algebra.
(a) Students will take ALEKS assessment.
(b) Students will work through pre-algebra ALEKS modules indicated as necessary.
2. Students will improve their mastery of algebraic skills.
(a) Students will take ALEKS assessment of algebra knowledge and skills.
(b) Students will work through the ALEKS modules indicated as necessary.
(c) Students will take indicated exams to demonstrate their learning.
3. Students will develop their ability to apply algebraic thinking and procedures to problem solving.
(a) Students will work through the ALEKS modules that focus on problem solving.
Course Procedures and Policies:
MATH 001: Math 001, “Introductory Algebra”, is a not-for-graduation-credit course intended to prepare students for the various courses for which 001 is a pre-requisite, namely MATH 110 (College Algebra), MATH 130 (Introductory Statistics), and MATH 155 (Mathematics, A Way of Thinking). The material is essentially the first year of algebra, which would typically be taken in high school, which explains why this course is numbered 001, and why the 4 credits you will earn here do not count toward graduation, even though they do count toward full-time status.
Your placement score indicated that you have not mastered this content, whatever the reason. To make the best of the situation, your goal here must be to learn this material and master the necessary skills so that you can be successful in the courses you eventually need to take as part of your college program.
ALEKS: ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) is a web-based program designed to carefully assess what students know and what they are ready to learn, and then to methodically tutor them in the given material, in this case Introductory Algebra. After registering, you will begin by going through a brief tutorial on the use of the ALEKS input tool, also called the “Answer Editor.” On the second day you will do the Initial Assessment in class.
Probably the best thing about ALEKS is that it allows each student to take a course specifically designed for his/her individual needs – students will be working at their own pace and working on material they are ready to learn. The implication of this is that I will not be “lecturing” on textbook sections in the customary way. My role as instructor here is to monitor your learning and to engage in individual tutoring as the need arises.
Another advantage to using ALEKS is that since it is web-based you can work on your course anywhere you have internet access. ALEKS will remember where you left off and will always make sure that you have shown readiness before presenting new material. However, the Initial Assessment and all Quizzes/Exams must be taken during class.
Be sure to do your own work! Your best preparation for online in-class quizzes is when you have been working with ALEKS yourself. By allowing someone else to do your work for you, the only person you are cheating is yourself.
Grading System: Your grade will be determined by the following five factors:
(1) Attendance: 25 points possible
(2) Check-Offs: 55 points possible (5 points each)
(3) ALEKS Quizzes: 200 points possible (4 exams x 50 points each)
(4) ALEKS modules completed: 100 points possible (percentage of modules completed based on final assessment)
(5) Mid-term and final: 200 points possible (100 for mid-term, 100 for final)
This makes for a total of 580 points. Grades will be assigned according to the scale:
A 93% or above
AB 88 – 92%
B 82 – 87%
BC 77 – 81%
C 70 – 76%
CD 65 – 69%
D 60 – 64%
F < 60%
**NOTE** You also need to complete at least or 80% of the ALEKS topics to pass the course. You need at least a “C” grade to be allowed to advance to the next course in your sequence.
(1) Attendance: A major factor in learning mathematics is a regular and focused schedule of practice. You need to practice virtually every day, and for a considerable amount of time each day in order to establish a solid foundation in algebra.
The Attendance Policy for 001 is given in the table at the right. Because it is so important that you put in the time, this system rewards regular attendance. Within reason, missed classes can be made up with me in the Learning Center.
In general, there will be no distinction between “excused” and “unexcused” absences, although absences due to participation in a school event, such as an athletic trip or a theatrical production, will NOT be “absences”. However, in such cases, it is important that you put in equivalent make-up time.
(2) Check-Offs: You will all receive a packet containing Check-Offs which are basically practice problems for questions covered throughout the course. Think of these as homework problems that need to be turned-in. As you master the topics covered on each Check-Off, complete the questions and submit your packet for review. Each section (A – K) is worth 5 points. The Check-Offs need to be completed during class in order to receive credit.
(3) ALEKS Quizzes: In addition to automatic assessments produced by ALEKS based on your completion, ALEKS has the ability to construct exams at points indicated by the instructor. I tell ALEKS what material I want covered and the program constructs problems that test understanding of that material. My intent is to have ALEKS give you a Quiz after you have completed every other ALEKS topic section, as numbered on the ALEKS page included with this syllabus. Thus, you will have a Quiz after you have completed sections 1 and 2; after sections 3 and 4; after sections 5 and 6; and also after sections 7 and 8.
* For each Quiz, although it will be taken online, you need to turn-in a paper/pencil copy of the questions with your work and answers at the end of the class period during which each Quiz is taken. At the completion of the Quiz, you will receive your score. If you do not pass a Quiz, do not turn in your work. Study from it - - you are allowed one chance to re-take each quiz.
**REMINDER** These quizzes, even the re-takes, must be taken in the classroom!
One page of notes may be used. A calculator is allowed for all in-class assessments EXCEPT for Quiz #1.
____________Quiz Schedule: (Based on your Pie Slices)____________
Quiz 1 (#1, 2) – Week 3 (9/21/06)
#1 – Arithmetic Readiness (Bello Ch. R)
#2 – Real Numbers (Bello Ch. 1)
Quiz 2 (#3, 4) – Week 7 (10/11/06)
#3 – Solving Linear Equations (Bello Ch. 2)
#4 – Graphing Functions (Bello Ch. 3, 7)
Quiz 3 (#5, 6) – Week 11 (11/7/06)
#5 – Exponents and Polynomials (Bello Ch. 4, 5)
#6 – Rational Expressions (Bello Ch. 6)
Quiz 4 (#7, 8) – Week 15 (12/5/06)
#7 – Systems of Linear Equations (Bello Ch. 8)
#8 – Radicals and Quadratic Equations (Bello Ch. 9, 10)
(4) ALEKS Modules Completed: On the last two days of class you will take a final assessment, triggered by me. The percentage you score on that assessment is the number of points you receive, based out of 100. This assessment must be completed in the classroom. If you do not finish in one class period, you MUST NOT log on to ALEKS again until you return the next day for class, at which time you can complete your assessment. You must leave record with me as to which problem you were on when you leave, and if you are not on that same problem when you return, you must take the assessment again in the Learning Center.
(5) Midterm and Final: The Mid-Term and Final will be a traditional hard-copy test. It will not be an online assessment. Some of you may not be on schedule for the assessments, and this will no doubt affect your performance and, in turn, your Mid-Term and final course grade. The lesson learned here is that part of success in a course is learning the material within a designated amount of time.
ALEKS Time: ALEKS keeps track of how much time you have put in as well as how much progress you have made. It is your responsibility to keep track of how much time you are spending with ALEKS. It is suggested that you spend an additional 2 to3 hours outside of class for each hour in class. This commitment will help ensure successful progress through ALEKS.
Schedule: Your starting point and rate of progress are based on your initial assessment and learning rate. Because ALEKS allows students to work at their individual pace, students will be at a variety of places in the material throughout the semester. Still, in order to pass the course and move into the subsequent course you will need to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the material within the semester’s time constraints.
It is possible that some of you will actually complete the ALEKS course before the calendar indicates the semester is over, and that’s fine. I will still have you take the final exam with the rest of the class on the scheduled date. And it is possible that some of you may reach December without completing the material. ALEKS offers a guarantee that if you do not pass the course despite having put in at least 80 hours, your license to use ALEKS can be renewed for a semester at no cost. In this case, you will be given a grade of “I” (Incomplete), allowing you to work towards completion of the course during the next semester. Of course, this is far from ideal since it means you could not yet enroll in the course you need to take for your major. Use the Quiz dates as a goal for completion!
Americans with Disabilities Act: If you are a person with a disability and require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations for this class, please see me and/or Wayne Wojciechowski, the campus ADA coordinator (MC 335, 796-3085), within ten days to discuss your needs.
No Class Meetings:
Monday, September 4 – Labor Day
November 22 through 24 – Thanksgiving Break
The policies and outline of this course are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.
You will need the ALEKS Student Access Code on the back of your ALEKS Users’ Guide, purchased from the Bookstore. You will also need the Course Code for your section, which is listed below.
(1) Type www.aleks.comin the URL line of your browser. Then add the site to Your Favorites.
ALEKS will lead you through the process of creating an account. Above the Registered Users box you should click:
New User? Sign Up Now!
(2) To enroll in your specific section, you will need the appropriate course code:
QQEQ6-XHXXG Section 001 MRC 316 – mornings
WLCP3-C4KCM Section 002 MRC 318 – afternoons
On the first day of class, each of you will log in and we will examine the basics of using ALEKS. I will ask you to work your way through the “Answer Editor” tutorial so that you become familiar with how to enter mathematical expressions for assessments, on-line work and quizzes. Then on the second day of class I will have you take the initial ALEKS assessment to get a baseline rating of your skills and readiness for the material in this course. It is important that you always put forth your best effort when taking assessments, because this is how ALEKS determines whether or not you have mastered the material already learned.
ALEKS keeps track of (and lets your instructor see) how much you have mastered and what you are ready to learn. Below are the topics covered in this course.
Our basic course content
1. Arithmetic Readiness [Text: Chapter R]
Proportions and percents
Integers and signed numbers
2. Real Numbers [Text: Chapter 1]
Substitution and evaluation
Properties of real numbers
3. Solving Linear Equations [Text: Chapter 2]
One occurrence of the variable
Several occurrences of the variable
4. Graphing and Functions [Text: Chapter 3, 7]
5. Exponents and Polynomials [Text: Chapter 4, 5]
Properties of exponents
- Quadratic polynomials
- Special formulas
- Multivariable polynomials
6. Rational Expressions [Text: Chapter 6]
7. Systems of Linear Equations [Text: Chapter 8]
8. Radicals and Quadratic Equations [Text: Chapter 9, 10]
Radicals and rational expressions
- Simplifying expressions
- Solving equations
- Solving equations